Ventana Campground is nestled among a gorgeous Redwood forest. I stayed at campsite 38 and a small creek went right through my campground and ran off onto a small waterfall. I slept like a log every night listening to the sound of the flowing creek. However, the campground is part of a resort and although the showers and bathrooms were always very clean it was a very costly campsite. The sites are also pretty close together. I stayed for four nights and had only one night of peace and quiet. I think you can probably find much better sites inside the park but Ventana is a nice option for a reservable site and a pretty campground.
Very beautiful. Pricey. Fresh.
This is a private campground and a little pricey compared to public campgrounds, but quite reasonable compared to staying in a hotel in the area. Location is great with nearby hiking or beach going. The bathrooms were clean and slightly nicer than usual, but I’ve been to other private campgrounds with better bathrooms. Most sites are close together, but a few are nicely separated, so pick carefully.
I have always end up here every time I have visited Big Sur because the public campgrounds in the area are always booked out, but this has to be one of my favorite place that I have ever camped. The setting is 10/10 and is probably one of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring places I could think of pitching a tent. There is something truly special about sleeping underneath a giant redwood forest, and this grove of trees is nothing short of amazing.
The camping experience aside, Ventana is by far the most expensive campground I have ever stayed in. This is partly due to the fact that it's owned by the luxury Ventana Resort up the hill, and also simply because it's Big Sur where camping is pricey even at the public campgrounds. I get that Big Sur is extremely popular, but there becomes a certain point where the price tag for a simple campsite becomes outrageous. I feel that Ventana is more or less taking advantage of campers in that respect, baking on people willing to pay any price just to be able to camp in Big Sur, especially when every other option is booked.
Bu with the price tag, you get to camp in a beautiful setting that is very well maintained, that has probably the nicest/cleanest camp bathroom I have ever seen. Seriously, the bathrooms are actually pretty nice and they have showers. (Pro tip: Use the bathrooms in the lower loop because they have individual single rooms with showers where you can be alone. The bathrooms in the upper loops have showers in the shared bathroom space.) Firewood and shower tokens can be purchased from the host, and they sometimes even drive around in golf carts to your site with wood and tokens so you don't even have to leave your site. I will note one slightly frustrating thing about this campground: while you can reserve ahead of time, you can't choose your site specifically. But what you can do is write a comment in the reservation and request a specific area and that has usually worked for me. Some of the campsites are kind of close together with shared parking, but it has never been issue.
All in all, I loved camping at Ventana/Big Sur. I just wish I didn't have to spend so much to do so.
This place is beautiful. Has everything you need right in the redwoods. Very expensive
Ventana Campground is a tent only campground, which I love as I feel like it’s harder and harder to find now a days. They can’t accommodate RV’s, motor homes, travel trailers or pop-up tent trailers. Although we did see a few of the rental company camper vans and trucks with roof tents or small campers on top. This campground isn’t cheap… But for the Big Sur area, I guess it’s “reasonable” as this campground is right in the middle of Pfieffer Big Sur and Julia Pfieffer Burns State Parks. It really is in a great location to explore the coast That being said, I did find it a little disappointing just how close the campsites are to each other here, meaning you’re not going to get anything close to a secluded camping experience. These (like almost all campground now a days) come with a fire ring and picnic table. We were lucky enough to get randomly placed in a spot right next to a wonderful little 2-foot waterfall on the creek that runs through the campground. We lucked out as there was never anyone at the front gate and there was just a list of everyone’s per-assigned campsite. There were some other campsites which were right on top of each other and you had to basically walk through someone else’s area to get to “your” table and fire ring.
It was nice that there was both recycling/trash and potable water stations scattered throughout and the bath facilities were decently maintained, and as they say “modern” (i.e. flush toilets). However, I was blown away that they only have coin-operated showers available (2 minutes per quarter). This and they really did pack in the 60+ sites plus a “glamping” area in the back for $425-695 (average ~$600) a night…
The tent site campground is reservable by phone at 1-855-391-8683 or online ($85 for Sunday-Thursday, $105 for Friday & Saturday)
While we don’t have one, I know people like to know that dogs are allowed at the campsite on leash (2 per campground).
For me personally the campground only gets 3/5 stars :
Overall, remember that while you have great access to the beauty that Big Sur Coast has to offer and the campground is pet friendly you’re definitely, not really going to get a remote camping experience and there’s a lot lacking for how much you’re paying. The facilities don’t have dish washing areas and while they are nicely cleaned and maintained things like a shower shouldn’t have cost extra…
These rules are copied from their pamphlet.
• Respect the peacefulness and quiet of the redwoods.
• QUIET HOURS 10 PM TO 7 AM.
• No loud noise or loud music at anytime.
• NO RVS. NO HOOK UPS. NO GENERATORS.
• All fires must be in fire rings, under control at all times and extinguished before departure.
• PLEASE DO NOT DEFACE TREES OR STUMPS.
• Please purchase your firewood in Big Sur. Collecting groundwood is forbidden.
• No fireworks or fire arms permitted on property.
• LEAVE NO TRACE on campsites or facilities.
• Conserve water. Firmly close water taps when not using.
• Dogs must be quiet, on leash at all times and stay in campsites or roads. Please clean up after your dog. No dogs left unattended.
• Recycle bins are available for plastic bottles, cans and glass. Please recycle.
• Maximum five people, one vehicle, two dogs.
As a Ranger for The Dyrt I sometimes get the opportunity to test out products and what I got to use during this trip for protecting our food from the wildlife and the elements was RovR’s RollR 60 cooler. While listed as “a 60-quart carrying, all-terrain attacking, patented design that can go anywhere you can. Engineered with the world's best cooling and organization design on the inside and built to carry your campsite, tailgate or party on the out.” It really turned out to be all this plus so much more. We had a really easy time wheeling it around and to our site and it was so much nicer than having to carry a cooler like I’ve done with my other rotomolded brands. Ugh… they get heavy with food and ice in them.
This cooler comes with a lot of really unique features that no other cooler has! Plus many other customization and add-on possibilities. Their coolers come with a folding tote container which is attached to the top with velcro straps so that while wheeling it around it won’t just slide right off. Good thinking there! When not in use this tote folds flat, and fits into an indention on the top thus serving possibly as a slight cushion for sitting.
When in use, the tote is unfolded and becomes an additional dry container for holding extra gear like a stove, pots and pans, paper towels, etc. You can also remove it entirely from the top and placed to the side or move it to a picnic table with all that dry gear you have for cooking or whats not. This “feature” is awesome - it is like having two carrying containers in one.
There are additional fixtures on the cooler which are designed to attached auxiliary items like a cutting board, umbrella or drink holders. There’s even a fixture for attaching an extension that can be attached to a bicycle. Thus, one can pull the cooler behind a bicycle like a trailer. Innovative game changer for those bike campers!
My favorite feature was Inside the cooler there is a special bin that can hold items that may not need to be chilled like bread, towels or utensils. This feature is so important to keep items separate and dry when moisture develops, or the ice starts to melt. The bin itself has an internal divider which further aids with organization. Sometimes you want things right on the ice, but other stuff isn’t going to do as well if you freeze it!! This was an awesome idea.
Overall, I give the cooler 5/5 stars. I really love the company’s innovation to the rotomolded cooler and even our cats approved! Go get ourselves one of these instead of some of those other rotomolded coolers at RovRproducts.com
• Certified grizzly bear resistant rotationally molded body and lid with anchor pins for attaching prep station and accessories!!! Yes, please. Especially with all the bear cu
• Up to 10 days of ice retention depending on use. Umm….need to test this out fully, but it lasted the 4 days i needed it with opening the cooler a few times per day.
• Capacity: Without Deepfreeze dry bin installed: 60 cans and 20lbs. of ice. With Deepfreeze dry bin installed: 40 cans and 10 pounds of ice in main compartment and 4-6 bottles of spirits upright with meats, breads, fruits and vegies in dry compartments.
• High performance wheel assembly: 9-inch all-terrain rubber tires with interchangeable tube, aluminum hubs with 2 sealed bearings
• Aluminum pull handle with dual motocross style grips. This is great for pulling the heavy cooler around. Have you tried carrying one of the other brands without wheels?!?! It sucks!! They get really heavy, really fast.